Auckland's Waiwera hot pools to stay shut for summer as fight over site continues

Caroline Williams and Juliet McGhie/StuffWaiwera residents were disappointed to hear of the thermal pools’ closure.

With trucks and containers parked outside, residents have been questioning what is happening at the north Auckland pool complex.

On October 25, a notice appeared on the facility’s front door, issued by land owner Waiwera Properties, cancelling its lease.

Now, leaseholder Waiwera Thermal Resort is fighting back, applying for an injunction against Waiwera Properties.

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Waiwera Thermal requested fixtures not be removed from the site, and Waiwera Properties has agreed to let them remain until arbitration proceedings take place in February.

Waiwera Thermal Resort in 2014 when it was thriving
Juliet McGhieWaiwera Thermal Resort in 2014 when it was thriving

At a preliminary court hearing on December 3, Waiwera Properties indicated more affidavits could be filed by other creditors.

A history of defaults on rental payments had culminated in the cancellation of the lease and the change of locks on the doors of Waiwera Thermal Resort, Waiwera Properties project director Evan Vertue said in a statement when the lease was cancelled.

“It’s a pity that it has come to this. We have reluctantly re-entered the premises due to continual tenant default and consider this option a last resort.

“We don’t welcome making this move, but we have no other option,” Vertue said.

According to Companies Office information, Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich sold all his shares in two Waiwera businesses on November 22 to American diamond mogul Leon Fingerhut. 

All shares are now in the hands of the Fingerhut’s Ordover Trust, located in Las Vegas.

Trucks have been seen outside Waiwera hot pools
Juliet McGhieTrucks have been seen outside Waiwera hot pools

Khimich is now listed as a former shareholder but remains a director for both companies.

Waiwera hot pools currently look derelict and abandoned.
Juliet McGhieWaiwera hot pools currently look derelict and abandoned.

Rodney Times